Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18

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Lt 56, 1903

White, J. E.

Des Moines, Iowa

May, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 337, 353. +Note

Dear Son Edson,—

I speak to you because I feel an intense interest in the Southern field. That neglected vineyard of the Lord must be cultivated. The fields in the South need faithful, persevering workers, not merely preachers, but those who can minister. It is not depth of reasoning that is to be productive of the most good; the world by human wisdom knew not God, but holy men spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 18LtMs, Lt 56, 1903, par. 1

No amount of reasoning or explanation can tell the whys and wherefores of the creation of the world. It is to be understood by faith in the great creative power. By faith we must believe in the mighty-working creative power of God through Jesus Christ. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (are not present to the eye). [Hebrews 11:3.] This is a matter that can be stated, but mere reasoning will never convince one of the truth of the statement. Reasoning we must have. It is one of the great masterly talents entrusted to the human agent and is a great advantage at every step we advance from earth to heaven. The faculty of reasoning, trained and cultivated as a precious entrusted gift, will be taken to heaven with all its improvements and sanctified abilities, to be perfected more and more in the heavenly school above. 18LtMs, Lt 56, 1903, par. 2

Paul reasoned out of the Scriptures. Jesus reasoned with His hearers out of the Scriptures. “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” “As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” [1 Corinthians 1:21; 2:9, 10.] 18LtMs, Lt 56, 1903, par. 3

This is the faith, that although we do not see, we believe His Word and sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him. He speaks as One having authority—“It is written.” He Himself was the Author. The motive power of the gospel is the science of penitence, love, faith, prayer, obedience, hope, and the joy of Christ in the human soul. 18LtMs, Lt 56, 1903, par. 4

The Word

The possession of the Word is a talent, a treasure house of knowledge; and in all who believe, it creates a responsibility to impart. Receive the seed in good soil, and then let it spring up, first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear, then the harvest. You may have much work before you, but go no faster than you can move solidly. Teach the Word in the very simplest way possible. You will need to illustrate to the colored people with cheap pictures. This will be a necessity. If they had been educated to read, then the illustrations would not be necessary. May the Lord help you, my son, to walk and work, trusting in Jesus Christ. 18LtMs, Lt 56, 1903, par. 5

But the fact must be understood that the Scriptures do not depend upon a process of reasoning in bringing souls from darkness to light, from sin to repentance, but it is faith that accepts the divine, God-given testimony that the Scripture is the great power of God expressed. Many things are affirmed. (John 1:9[-12]): “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him (by faith as the Son of God), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” 18LtMs, Lt 56, 1903, par. 6

Believers are to be developed. This is the mission of our publishing work. There is much to be done in this line, especially in some parts of the country. The matter—Bible truth—must go forth as a light that burneth. Gather up the rays of light, put the truth in its simplicity, and carry on your publishing in the Southern field as the ignorance of the people demands. You have the facilities and therefore can do this. It needs talent that has been engaged in making books. You understand this. Brother Palmer has a quick mind. You know what you need to meet high and low. Well, take hold like men that have souls before you to save, and God will help you. 18LtMs, Lt 56, 1903, par. 7

I will write you this before I leave Battle Creek. The Lord give you wisdom and great grace is my prayer. 18LtMs, Lt 56, 1903, par. 8

Edson White, I must urge you to be exceedingly cautious. You have men of capability, men to plan. The Lord has entrusted to them talents. If they will honor God, God will honor them. Now work in the name of the Lord God of Israel. I speak to these men my message, Come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Who is the mighty Satan? He works with all his determined interest. Now work, now pray, now watch and work. Souls are to be saved. You cannot afford to be trammeled as you have been by any printing plant. It has been used as God never desired it. God will not have ways and openings closed because selfishness enters, and men devise and plan without seeking counsel of God. 18LtMs, Lt 56, 1903, par. 9

In regard to the printing matter in the plant that has already been established to handle publications in a limited manner, if the publishing house will give you any fair show, take over the books, do with them all you possibly can, whether you gain a dollar’s advantage or not, and leave your endeavors with the Lord to help you dispose of these books. You will not meet with a great loss, but as you have not yet even a beginning to work with, you must in this taking-over business count the cost, for you are in no condition to waste anything. You must seek the Lord in prayer. Tell the Lord all about your purposes. Give your whole hearts—Brother Palmer, yourself, and all connected with you—to the Lord with kindly hearts. Bring all tenderness and compassion into your work. Be true, be clean in principle. You cannot afford to saddle on you a debt, unless your chances are favorable to meet it. Watch and pray. You cannot depend on human wisdom. God will lead you if you fully trust in Him. He will never leave nor forsake a soul who trusts in Him. 18LtMs, Lt 56, 1903, par. 10